Is it Possible to Live an Authentic Life?

Is it Possible to Live an Authentic Life?
(Originally published in The Eden Magazine’s March 2015 Edition) The benefits and consequences of living an authentic life have been on my mind a lot recently, and as I contemplate whether or not it’s truly possible to do so, synchronicity has chimed in and everywhere I turn, I’m suddenly finding articles, books and workshops encouraging us to live an authentic life.  And this idea is not just in new age, metaphysical and self-help books; in J.K. Rowling’s fiction book, A Casual Vacancy, there’s a character that makes a decision to live a completely authentic life, and describes the  negative consequences of that decision. After researching this subject, it’s clear that being authentic can mean different things to different people. To me, being authentic means being true to yourself, to who you are, and perhaps even to what you’re feeling at any given moment.  I also cannot help but see both positive and negative sides to being 100% authentic; for instance:  Should we say exactly what we feel or think, even if it will hurt someone’s feelings?  What are the social and economic consequences of being 100% authentic?  I can share with you that recently, after holding in certain work-related feelings for nearly two years, I finally opened up about those feelings to someone who could effect changes for me, those changes were made and I feel like a new woman.  But what if revealing my true feelings hadn’t produced positive effects?   My thought is that a new window of opportunity for growth would have opened for me and listening to my gut on how to deal with whatever happened next would be crucial to spiritual growth. Holding in our true feelings as I did for two years is certainly not synonymous with living an authentic life, yet I feel sure that choosing when and how to best express those feelings is equally important to expressing them.  For example, do we say, ‘That dress makes you look fat?’  or is it better to say ‘You have other dresses that are more stunning”?   In our pursuit of living an authentic life, I believe that we must continue to watch our words and actions and find ways to approach situations and people in our lives in ways that will allow us to be more authentic without creating additional karma or hurting others. And because I am intent on learning more about how to reconcile living an authentic life within the confines of existing social and work paradigms, I’ve called on two dear friends to help us better understand exactly what the expression living an authentic life means and how to get there…. The first person I consulted was Intuitive Medium, Metaphysical Radio Show Host, Metaphysical Editor for OMTIMES Magazine, and Spiritual Teacher, Shelly Wilson, who shared the following wisdom: “I believe that living authentically involves being genuine with all people you come into contact with. This means not being afraid to be yourself or to feel the need to hide certain aspects of yourself due to fear of what others may think. It’s necessary to allow the “real deal” to shine through always. In other words, you are aligning your thoughts, words, and actions with your beliefs. You are walking your talk and talking your walk.  I feel that it is important to always be conscious of the energy you are putting out in the Universe. Being mindful of the words you choose to express is being considerate of others’ feelings yet still being authentic. It’s important to honor and respect everyone’s beliefs yet not always energetically appropriate to share your own. In no way do I feel that if you choose to remain silent are you being less than authentic. Rather, I feel that you are simply being compassionate. There is a difference.”   Next I called on  Author, Certified Professional Coach, Reiki Master Teacher, QHHT regression hypnosis practitioner and EFT facilitator, Paula Renaye, who happened to be working on creating a more authentic life for herself by overcoming fear and limiting beliefs.  Paula shared the following about her personal journey: I have had plenty of limiting beliefs, most recently around having my name changed, which I felt needed to be done for me to truly be me. I was certain it would take forever, require tons of paperwork and would end up in some big huge expensive ordeal that I would have to hire an attorney to deal with. So, I put it off. Still, every time I had to speak or use my ex-husband’s name, it made more and more uncomfortable—it wasn’t me. I hadn’t taken my maiden name when we divorced because, as an adoptee, that name hadn’t really been me either. Actually, no name ever had until I began using Paula Renaye, which is a variation of my middle name, professionally several years ago. That name made me feel more like the real me inside than I ever had in my life. I loved it! The problem was that it wasn’t technically “real”—I’d made it up—it wasn’t legal and it kept me stuck explaining who I was or wasn’t on any given day. I didn’t feel congruent or authentic. It was mentally confusing, and it was energetically holding me back from taking action in important areas of my life. Finally, I sucked it up and went to the courthouse to find out what I had to do to make myself official. I miraculously found the correct office on the first try. I found the sample forms that seemed most appropriate, filled them out and then took what I hoped was the correct paperwork to the clerk the next day. That was on Friday. I had serious doubts about the paperwork being correct or “enough,” but the clerk assured me that if there were problem, someone would call and let me know what else was needed. Monday morning, bright and early, they called. I could come by the courthouse and pick up my signed name change order! The judge had signed the paperwork Friday afternoon and they had filed it officially My “big huge expensive ordeal” had taken less than two hundred dollars and one business day! And then, it started to sink—I was now officially me! I had done what I needed to and the universe had supported me—at warp speed! Dear Readers, if creating and living more authentic life is calling to you the way it’s calling to me, here’s a three step plan of action to get started: Step one: Pay attention to your feelings. Write down in your journal the situations or circumstances in your life that make you uncomfortable. Step two: Figure out what action(s)  you are willing to take in order to be true to who we are in those situations.  The Universe will support us. Step three: Decide on the best action(s) and then take them.  Nothing will change until you take action (or don’t take action, if that’s what’s called for to be true to yourself). There is no doubt that as we create a more authentic life, we are also expediting our spiritual growth and for those times when we aren’t sure what to do, meditate and listen to that little voice within—that voice is our Higher Self working hard to help us make the right decisions. Namaste. ###
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1 Comment

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